A one-eyed doll with raspberry blush cheeks
Scads of tea cups and misplaced mugs
Washed out scenery paintings in pink plastic frames
Piles of exercise equipment skeletons and rickety baby seats
Linty blankets and dusty rose cushions
And a thirty-something dreamer looking for a find
Getting her hands dusty with the remains of people’s pasts
Finding five dollar fabulous amid dilapidating miscellany
Isn’t it great treasure-making and dignifying junk on a pop bottle budget?
“You’re my special pumpkin Grand Mere. You’re my sumpkin!” tiny Evan exclaimed blissfully to Grandma.
I remember being a babe. I remember being caught up in the flickering beauty of sun bits in the trees on the way up to the ski hill. I remember rolling over my siblings for laughs and spiking my hair with balloon static. I remember sleeping bag hugs, and silent awed tears as my Dad sang into the night. I remember feeling awesome—the queen—in my “Bananas” sweatshirt, slouch socks and acid washed jean shorts. I remember the wonder of hippies, different colored people, and the flamboyant characters from my mom’s hometown. I was a child.
Wet with sweat from a nightmare; adamantly petitioning to watch the puppets on Mr. Dress-up; dancing my heart out; making percussion with pots; life at the pinnacle of either joy or sorrow; this was childhood.
And children—sweat, joy, love, hope, distress and elation—come about through the intersection of two souls. Every single one: born of intimacy. Two people have to get pretty darn close to each other—as close as they can get. I am inspired at the awesomeness of this collaboration—the making of a little dollop of a person who is real, who has a magnanimous scope of emotions and thoughts, and who may someday create another being them selves. It’s a stunning and lovely profundity.
“I’m lost in the world of Maranatha. The sun swallows the land in a honey brilliance, and Torri is packing a sac for the journey ahead. She will leave the land of famine that has already claimed her sweet shepherd love’s life and…” I glance up from my story for a moment.
I am in Starbuck’s. A man in a leather jacket complete with a row of hanging tassels, a black cowboy hat, jogging pants and white sneakers sits down outside. What’s this modern cowboy’s story? Who ropes a bull in joggers? And yet I understand the lure of pajama pants. Some days you just don’t want to take your jammies off. They could compliment a suit jacket, no? Even cowboys have the right to be cozy.
Forget Maranatha. Real life is so much more scrumptious.
I love to breathe in God
In the big pink azaleas on Esther’s farm
In the gnarly limbs of trees that hold me skyward
In a pile of musty blankets on an orange trampoline at night
In a dandelion chain that stretches forever
By the velvety nose of a calf
I love to breathe in God
Under a tin roof pelted by raindrops
In a barn full of fresh cut hay
With a bowl full of peaches with cow’s cream
And a kitten underneath my shirt
Swaying with Esther’s blond curls
And boxes of peaches and cream corn for sale in the driveway
In a lifetime long ago
On a farm that holds my young face
In a heart shaped locket by a stream.
The day is fresh like a cucumber
And warm like a hug
I wonder what I can pull out of my heart today
For a poem
Like fresh crushed lavender between my fingers
Like sheets out of the wash
Like a djembe
I want to be all heart
And earn my wrinkles
I want to touch somebody
Bringing them to a dusty road
On a mountainside
Where grapes grow
In the sunshine.